Clefts are a common birth defect. In fact, 1 in 700 babies worldwide are born with a cleft lip and / or cleft palate.

What is a cleft lip and / or cleft palate?

A cleft occurs when certain parts and structures of the body do not fuse together during fetal development. Slits can affect the lip and / or the roof of the mouth (roof of the mouth).

How common are cracks?

Opinions vary as to the actual frequency of columns, but most experts agree that it depends in part on ethnicity. Some experts claim that the incidence of divisions is highest among Asians (around 1 in 500 births). Caucasians have an average incidence of 1 in 700 births, and people of African descent have the lowest incidence of around 1 in 1,200 births.

What are the causes of a cleft lip and / or cleft palate?

No one knows for sure, but most experts agree that the causes of cleft lip and / or palate are multifactorial and may include genetic predisposition, environmental or nutritional factors. In most cases, it is not known what caused a cleft lip and / or palate, but research is ongoing to better understand the condition.

What are the challenges faced by a child with an untreated cleft?

Not only do most children with untreated crevices live in isolation, which makes it difficult for them to make friends or go to school, but most importantly, children with untreated crevices may have difficulty eat, breathe, talk and are at risk of severe malnutrition. .

Can the columns be manipulated?

Yes, the good news is that clefts are a condition that can be treated with reconstructive surgery and patients will see an immediate transformation. However, there are many obstacles faced by children with untreated crevices that can prevent them from having much needed surgery. Lack of information on treatment options, little or no income to cover surgery costs and transportation to treatment centers are just a few of the barriers. Many communities also face challenges related to a lack of equipment and supplies and a shortage of health professionals. Smile Train helps overcome all of these obstacles in our local and sustainable divisional programs.

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